It is so easy to get into a mental funk. You see women who are younger, fitter than you. Someone is more successful. Things are easier. Why am I not thinner? Why am I still renting? Why do I not have a retirement account? Why do I have so much debt?
You’re in a funk. That’s all.
It happens to all of us. Everyone, even the seemingly most focused and most successful have those moments when we wonder, Why am I not __?
We all, from time to time, get in a funk.
The important thing is to get out of it. If you keep asking yourself, why, and if you stay in that funk, you run the risk of trapping yourself behind a wall of negativity, triggering a downward spiral, and that’s dangerous.
You need to get out of the funk.
Here is what you need to do: Refocus on your goals. If you don’t refocus, you will stay trapped. Here’s how.
Step 1: Determine your big goal
First, determine your major goal. Your big goal. That pie-in-the-sky thing that you really want. Maybe it’s to lose 50 pounds. Save a million dollars. Buy a house. Whatever. It’s a big, lofty goal. You know what it is because you’ve turned it into a negative Why Don’t I __ mantra. Step one is to determine what that goal is. That goal you really want.
Got it? Now write it down. Get yourself an old-fashioned paper notebook and write it on page one. Call it your “goal notebook.”
Step 2: Plot the steps
Your goal may seem huge, but — trust me — it’s attainable. You wrote it down. You can get there.
How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
But before you start biting, you need to plan: Figure out the steps you need to hit to reach your main goal. Mapping these steps, or micro-goals, can be difficult and challenging, but it is vital. Without mapping out the steps, you will not achieve your big goal.
Here’s how to do it: Break up the big goal into smaller parts. Answer: In order to get to BIG GOAL, I need to first accomplish [Goal A]. Then: In order to get to Goal A, I need to first accomplish [Goal B]. And so on. The whole point is to map out all the little goals it will take to get you to the big goal.
A few things to remember as you plot the steps:
Keep your micro-goals specific. If the goal is vague you won’t ever make it. The goals should be concrete, something you can grab your hands around. It needs to be real.
Keep your micro-goals attainable. If a goal is too big, you need to chop it up. Don’t start with a goal like, “Run a 10K race” when you’ve never gotten off the couch. No, you would start with something more like:
- Buy sneakers.
- Run one mile.
- Run 1.5 miles.
- Run two miles.
- Run 2.5 miles.
(And so on)
So figure out those steps. And write them down.
Step 3: Give yourself deadlines
Now that you’ve gotten your micro-goals written down, you need to give yourself deadlines. If you do not state when you will attain that goal, you may as well never attain that goal. You need to add dates.
Step 4: Now do it.
You have the micro-goals, and you have the deadlines. Now do it. Start with the first micro-goal, and once you achieve it, you have made the first step toward achieving your BIG GOAL. You are one step closer!
Step 5: Stay on track
Now that you’re achieving your goals you need to stay on track. Keep yourself accountable! Review your goal notebook every night and every morning. Chart your progress in your goal notebook; use your notebook like a diary.
Sometimes you may need to reevaluate your goals. That’s normal. As you work toward achieving your micro-goals, you may realize that some of them are too lofty or too vague. If your goals are too lofty, you won’t achieve them. So that means you need to reassess. Go back to Step 2. If a goal is too big, break it up. Get back on track.
Step 6: Reward yourself
Motivate yourself. Reward yourself. Maybe you lost 5 pounds? Buy a new skirt. Saved another $2000 toward your dream home? Treat yourself to a movie. Or whatever else it takes to keep you motivated. You achieved a goal and you deserve a reward. You will make it happen!
You can do this.
We all can fall into a funk, but don’t let yourself stay there.
You can do this. You are awesome.